Playbill Vault’s Today in Theater History: September 14

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1910 Birthday of Lehman Engel, the Tony-winning Broadway conductor who founded the BMI Musical Theater Workshop. Among the shows he directs are original productions by Wonderful city, Fanny, Li’l Abner, Do Re Mi, Call Me Mister, and the consul. He won the Tony in 1953 as Outstanding Music Director, an award which was later dropped.

1916 The Longacre Theater is hosting the opening of a new comedy by James montgomery, Nothing but the truth. Guillaume Collier stars in the play following a stock broker trying not to lie for 24 hours in order to win a $ 10,000 bet.

1925 The jazz singer through Samson raphaelson opens at the Fulton Theater. Georges jessel embodies the cantor’s son, Jackie Rabinowitz, who is tempted to move away from religious music through jazz. The melodrama featured 303 performances and made history in 1927 as the first sound film released.

1936 After a summer break, the The follies of Ziegfeld of 1936 reopens at the Winter Garden Theater. It contains songs from Duke of Vernon and Ira Gershwin, and performance of Fanny Brice, Gypsy Rose Lee, and Bob Hope.

1949 Treasure hunt, a comedy by Mr. J. Farrell and John perry, opens at the Apollo Theater in London and tells the story of an aristocratic couple who decide to host paying guests to keep their estate nearly bankrupt. The play is conducted by John gielgud and stars Sybil thorndike, Alain Webb, and Marie Lohr.

1960 Bette davis, Clark allen, and Leif erickson participate in scripted readings of Carl Sandburg’s world at the Henry Miller Theater.

1972 Jason millerthe drama This championship season, about a high school basketball team reunion in which many long-buried truths are revealed, opens at the Booth Theater. Cast characteristics Charles Durning, Paul Sorvino, Richard A. Dysart, and Walter McGinn. The play went on to win the Pulitzer Prize for theater.

1980 Charles Strouse provides music for Charlie and Algernon, which opens at the Helen Hayes Theater. The musical is based on the same source material as the 1968 film Charly, about a mentally handicapped person who temporarily turns into a genius.

1989 The first Broadway cover of the Stephen Sondheim and Hugh Wheeler musical Sweeney todd opens at the Circle in the Square Theater. The production stars Beth Fowler and Bob Gunton, which previously sold out on Off-Broadway at the York Theater Company.

2000 Writer-performer Pamela Gien takes on 28 roles spanning four generations of South Africans, from apartheid to freedom, in The Syringa tree at Off-Broadway’s Playhouse 91. The play won the 2001 Obie Award for Best Play and earned Gien a 2001 Drama Desk Award in the Solo Performance category.

2008 After an award-winning run at the El Portal Theater in Los Angeles, The Marvelous Wonderettes opens at the Westside Theater Upstairs on Off-Broadway. Written and directed by Roger Bean, the musical features classic songs from the fifties and sixties on a return trip to the Springfield High School Ball in 1958.

2015 Nicole Kidman returns to the London scene in Anna Ziegler Photograph 51, opening at the Noël Coward Theater.

2016 The world premiere of Marie and Rosette by George Brant officially opens Off-Broadway at the Atlantic Theater Company. The show stars Rebecca Naomi Jones and Kecia Lewis, who plays the famous gospel singer Sister Rosetta Tharpe, an influence of Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Ray Charles and Jimi Hendrix.

More birthdays today: AE Anson (1879-1936), John Halliday (1880-1947), Lehman Engel (1910-1982), Tom Pedi (1913-1996), Kay medford (1919-1980), Zoe Caldwell (1933-2020), Nicol williamson (1936-2014).

Browse photos from the three Broadway productions of Sweeney todd:


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